Monthly Archives: January 2019

Spring 2019/Lecture 4/Two Body Problem – 30 Jan 2019

We resumed today with orbital mechanics. We covered the two-body problem, introduced Kepler’s problem (time doesn’t relate well to true anomaly), and sprinted to the state transition matrix. We will resume with perturbations and additional bodies considered on Friday.

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Slides: L4 Slides – Two Body Problem


Previous lectures:



Spring 2019/Lecture 3/Problem Solution and Review – 28 Jan 2019

Re-recorded lecture from Monday, January 28. I cover the 2D Uniform Gravitational Field (parabolic trajectory) problem solution. I also reviewed linearization and the state transition matrix because I felt that I didn’t cover them adequately in lecture 1. We will pick back up with additional review of orbital mechanics before moving on to observations.

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The problem solution can be found on GitHub at

The pdf write-up of the solution and the slides can be found here:

Write-up: soln_hw1

Slides: 3-problemsolutionlinearization_spring2019


Spring 2019/Lecture 2/Orbital Mechanics – 25 Jan 2019

We review orbital mechanics to prepare for orbit determination. We will cover the two body problem, orbital elements, and perturbing accelerations. We will continue on Monday. Be ready to turn in your solution for the practice problem.

Lecture Slides:

Review of Orbital Mechanics – Lecture 2


Spring 2019/Lecture 1/Orbit Determination Concepts – 23 Jan 2019

The inherent characteristics of an orbit determination (OD) problem are introduced. Dynamic state estimation, observations, linearization, and the state transition matrix are discussed. At the end, I have left a practice problem that we will review on Friday, 8 June. We throw a satellite up and watch it come down while introducing some important concepts.

Lecture Slides:

Orbit Determination Concepts – Lecture 1


Cesium Demo Using STK Scenario/TLE Data

Spring 2019 – Orbit Determination Course

Thanks to those of you that have been following the orbit determination course.

  1. This course is being revamped/restarted. We will follow a typical semester schedule. We had our first lecture today.
  2. I apologize to those following previously. Things got hectic with my father’s illness and qualifying exams for my Ph.D.
  3. Looking forward to hearing from all of you!

 Check It Out!

Before we get started, just a few things:

  • If you’re working through the material and have a question, please leave it on the lecture page on YouTube! The goal is to encourage discussion!
  • I appreciate feedback! I want to make it as easy as possible for you to learn from me.


Thank you for signing up and wanting to learn more about OD!